From September 21 to 22 2015, ESPI Resident Fellow Matteo Tugnoli (ESPI responsible for the EISC Secretariat) participated in the 17th EISC Plenary Session held at the Congreso des los Diputados in Madrid, Spain. This year’s Spanish Presidency, supported by ESPI, organized a workshop in Madrid in March on the theme of “Space Governance at European Level”. The aim of the workshop was to describe the current situation in Europe in terms of space governance by the so-called Space Triangle (EC, ESA and Member States) and discuss the evolution, focusing on the period covered by the current financial perspectives of the European Union (2014-2020). The Plenary Session which took place in September continued on the path of the workshop, and specifically revolved around the theme of “Governance of the Space Sector at National Level”. The topic was covered through three avenues: firstly, “Complementarity between European and national space programmes”, secondly “Industrial and data policy in European space programmes” and finally “European and national legislation related to space”.
The opening speeches of the Plenary were given by Maria Luisa Poncela, Secretary General for Science, Technology and Innovation and President of the Spanish Innovation Agency CDTI; Begoña Cristeto, Secretary General for Industry; Johann-Dietrich Wörner, ESA Director General and Augusto González, EC Advisor to the DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. The Plenary Session also included over a dozen speakers composed of key managers working in European space institutions and industries, which provided a pool of valuable information for the European Parliamentarians. On this occasion, the 3rd edition of the EISC-ESA Award took place. Laurent Brach emerged as winner with his “Oceans Plastic Pollution" project, while Alexandru Georgescu received a Special Mention of the Jury for his “Space for Heritage Conservation” proposal. In addition, the Parliamentarians and participants were given the opportunity of a private visit to the Prado Museum, which was then followed by a gala dinner within its halls, offered by CDTI. Over 50 participants were registered, coming from a range of industry, space agencies, and European Union institutions, as well as parliamentary representatives from half a dozen countries.